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02 December 2023

Jim Carrey won't face trial over girlfriend's death

Cathriona White and Jim Carrey (Bang)


Comic actor Jim Carrey has been spared the prospect of a civil trial over the suicide of his girlfriend after the case was dismissed, his representative and court officials said Thursday.

Cathriona White's estranged husband Mark Burton and mother Brigid Sweetman had filed a wrongful death lawsuit against the star following her overdose in September 2015, accusing him of procuring drugs under a bogus name for her.

They also alleged that the 56-year-old actor - known for a string of hit comedy movies including "The Mask," "Liar Liar" and "Ace Ventura: Pet Detective" - had given White three sexually-transmitted diseases.

"All I can say is the case was dismissed and I have no further comment," Carrey's publicist told AFP.

Documents filed at the Los Angeles Superior Court showed that a request for dismissal of the suit was submitted by the plaintiffs on January 25. A court official confirmed this but was unable to go into further detail.

Eagan Avenatti, the law firm representing the plaintiffs, issued a statement saying it was false to interpret the dismissal as Carrey having been "cleared" or that the case had been "thrown out."

"There is no evidence of this - it is patently untrue... The terms of the voluntary dismissal and the circumstances surrounding it have not been disclosed," said Michael Avenatti, co-founder of the firm.

According to the suit filed in September last year, the actor "used his immense wealth and celebrity status" to obtain opioids for her.

Burton alleged that the actor bought the drugs under the fake name "Arthur King" and then "took steps to conceal and obfuscate his involvement and culpability" after White's death.

The suit also accused Carrey of being obsessed with controlling and manipulating White, who was 30 when she died, and with whom he'd had an on-again, off-again relationship since 2012.

'Irish flower'

Carrey was able to monitor surveillance cameras at a home in the Los Angeles area where White often stayed, the document added.

News reports at the time of White's death said she and Carrey had broken up a few days earlier.

White sent a cryptic message on her Twitter account on the day the couple reportedly broke up that read: "Signing off Twitter, I hope I have been a light to my nearest and dearest."

Carrey served as a pallbearer at White's burial in her hometown in Ireland and wrote a tribute after her death describing her as a "truly kind and delicate Irish flower."

According to the coroner's office, she had taken her own life by overdosing on a lethal amount of prescription drugs including Ambien, Propranolol and Percocet.

The suit alleged that three pill bottles found near the body of the Irish-born makeup artist bore the name "Arthur King."

Carrey was alleged to have obtained the drugs from a physician who routinely prescribed them to the actor under the false name.

Carrey filed a countersuit, which has been "partially" dismissed, court papers show, claiming the legal action against him was an attempt to exploit a famous actor.

It added that White had extorted him by threatening to go to the press with false allegations that he had given her multiple sexually transmitted diseases.

"Cat decided to end her life," the countersuit said. "She committed suicide by taking a cocktail of pills, some her own, others secretly taken by her from Jim's home."

In the three years before her death, White had previously contemplated suicide, the countersuit alleged, adding: "Many of the suicide notes she wrote over the years had a common theme, 'I am not for this world.'"